Drug And Alcohol Addiction In The Elderly who-addiction-affects

Senior Citizens And Substance Abuse

It's not new to grow dependence at a late stage in life, but the health consequences of drug ill-use for individuals above the age of 65 can be even more severe than in younger abusers.


Substance and alcohol misuse amidst the senior is a quickly developing health issue within the United States. According to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, drug misuse within older citizens can be grouped into two general types the "hardy survivor," or those who have been misusing drugs for several years and have attained 65, and the "late onset" squad, which is those who develop dependence at a later stage in life. There are treatment choices available to help you get back on a healthy track, it doesn't matter what your age is or when addiction began.


Addiction among people 65 and up is often under-diagnosed and underestimated, which can stop them from getting the help they need.


Factors Of Abuse Among Senior Citizens

There are several things involved in contributing to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could turn out to be health-related concerns or life-changing situations that assume an emotional toll.

Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Pick up the phone and talk to us on 0800 772 3971 if you or a loved one is battling substance abuse.


Likely precipitants for drug or alcohol addiction in the elderly are

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close relative, partner, pet or close friend.
  • Loss of income or financial issues
  • Relocation or transferring to a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family conflict
  • Health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

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The Risk Of Elderly Substance Abuse

Since senior citizens are increasingly prone to the degrading effects of these substances, drug or alcohol abuse among the elderly is specifically harmful.

It is found out that drugs like Benzodiazepines pose dangerous risks to elderly. Despite its addicting potency, it is commonly prescribed by doctors to older people. The number of elderly people addicted to benzos have gone up each year.


Individuals over 65 have an increased brain sensitivity to drugs or alcohol along with a decreased ability to metabolize them. Even when the person is not addicted, it becomes harmful for seniors to use drugs or alcohol totally.


Challenges In Identifying Addiction Of Senior Citizens

Some of the psychological or physical health issues, like dementia, depression or diabetes might actually have similar side effects to substance abuse.

There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.


Symptoms Of Dependency In Senior Citizens

This may not always be true but together with mental and physical health, relationships of older persons also decline. It is very significant to look for some extraordinary signs a senior citizen you care about shows, especially because it can be hard to spot an addiction in the older population.

Some signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include

  • Amnesia
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Feeling irritable, sad and depressed
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating traits
  • Desire to be left alone
  • Undesirable hygiene
  • Losing communication with loved ones
  • Losing interest in regular activities

It is imperative to ask professional assistance from experts once substance abuse is confirmed or recognized among elderly.

People over 65 usually don't have enough support that is needed after treatment, so you need to find a specific program that provides case management services in addition to having experience in dealing with elderly addiction. Approach to medical, psychiatric and social resources to permit for a healthy lifestyle to continue after treatment is offered to the seniors by these case management services.


Elderly Addiction Statistics

Family, medical practitioners, and caregivers are encouraged to be keen to the rising cases of elderly substance abuse and report them immediately.